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By Andi Bourne

Feel the Rhythm with Maracujá


Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Maracujá played Jan. 8 at the Seeley Lake Community Hall as part of the 2 Valleys Stage 2017 concert series.

SEELEY LAKE – Maracujá took the temperatures in Seeley Lake up a few degrees with their Latin American music at their concert Jan. 8. Attendees were taken on a musical journey to countries including Brazil, Peru, Mexico, Cuba and Portugal. They welcomed audience participation and questions encouraging listeners to get up and dance.

The group is currently from Seattle, Wash. Vocalist and instrumentalist Caitlin Belem met guitarist Terrence Rosnagle through friends of friends. Because they were interested in playing the same types of music they were told they should meet. They added percussionist Sam Esecson to their ensemble after again hearing from friends in their music world that he was an excellent percussionist and would be a good addition.

Belem asked at the beginning of the concert if anyone was from Brazil. Thais Grochocki raised her hand and was the only Brazilian at the concert. She currently lives in Brasília, the capital of Brazil and was visiting her boyfriend Josh Kesterson who lives in the Swan Valley.

Grochocki was impressed with how well Belem spoke Portuguese. Grochocki recognized many of the songs that were played even though she said they were older songs, more popular in her parents' generation.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Caitlin Belem is the vocalist for Maracujá. She also played saxophone, guitar, violin and a shaker during the concert.

All of the songs were sung in the native languages of the countries where they were written. The group seamlessly transitioned between musical styles of Latin America. Mellow, percussive bossa novas were followed with an upbeat samba or Cuban son.

Esecson used a wide variety of percussion instruments quickly changing from hand percussion to drum kit to his Cajun box drum. Belem sang and played the violin, saxophone and guitar depending on the song.

While Grochocki was the only one who said she knew Portuguese, the universal language of music did not need a translator as attendees tapped their toes, danced in their chairs or stood up and found a dance partner.

"I think it is an interesting thing for Americans to learn more about Brazilian [music]," said Grochocki. "It is a different song and it is beautiful. I think more countries should know [about Brazilian music]. I'm really glad to be here."

Maracujá was a part of the 2 Valleys Stage 2017 Concert Series. They also worked with area students Monday and Tuesday.


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